Justin Monroe
Fictional Character
The Disunited States of America
POD: July, 1787
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: United States (home timeline)
Date of Birth: c. 2079
Occupation: Trader, clerk, soldier
Parents: Cyndi Monroe and Mr. Monroe

Justin Monroe (b. ca 2079) was a teenaged employee of Crosstime Traffic. In 2097, he and his mother Cyndi traveled from the home timeline to Charleston, Virginia in an alternate where the United States did not adopt the Constitution and fractured in the early 19th century.

The Monroes arrived mere days before Virginia went to war with its neighbor, Ohio. They joined Randolph Brooks, another Crosstime operative, who managed the Charleston Coin and Stamp Company under the guise of being Brooks' sister and nephew. The day after war was officially declared, Brooks took Justin to Elizabeth to meet one of Brooks' customers, Ted Snodgrass. Also visiting Ted and his wife Ethel were Ethel's cousin from California, Myrtle Bentley, and Myrtle's granddaughter, Beckie Royer. Beckie, born and raised in California, was Justin's age. Beckie, relieved to have someone her age to talk to, struck up a friendship with Justin. Justin was also grateful for the friendship, although he was frustrated by his inability to be completely honest with Beckie. He agreed with Beckie's disdain for the institutionalized racism of the country of Virginia, but he could not openly do so, without risking his secret.

They day Justin and Randy arrived in Elizabeth, reports came in that Ohio had launched its offensive, releasing a mutated measles virus into major cities in eastern Virginia. Consul Pendleton, Virginia's head of state, ordered a quarantine of the major cities, leaving Justin and Randy stranded in Elizabeth. While neither was pleased with the situation, Justin was able to deepen his friendship with Beckie. They discovered the body of Charlie Clark on Jephany Knob, and were each interrogated by the Virginia Bureau of Investigation.

However, that friendship was halted when Justin realized he could never be completely honest with her. When Beckie pushed too hard for the truth, Justin effectively terminated the relationship, although he did confide in Beckie about his plan to disguise himself as a soldier and escape to Charleston. He quietly snuck out one morning, wearing the uniform of a dead soldier who'd been stationed at the motel, and was immediately swept up by another unit. Justin saw combat in Charleston proper, killing a young Negro rebel. While telling himself that the boy would have killed him, Justin nevertheless felt guilty about it. Eventually, Justin was able to sneak away, meeting his mom in the Charleston Coin and Stamp Company. No sooner did he arrive than Randolph Brooks pulled up. Brooks had driven overnight with Beckie Royer and her grandmother in tow. While initially angry with Justin, Brooks provided a sympathetic ear when Justin admitted to having killed someone in combat.

Shortly after Brooks arrived Beckie entered to let them know that her grandmother had developed the measles. Justin promised to help and then began needling his employers for the cure. Although he initially met with bureaucratic red-tape, much as his mother had, Justin was able to convince Crosstime Traffic to send a sample of the cure. Justin rushed over to the motel where Beckie and Myrtle were staying, administered the cure, and then said his goodbyes. However, he gave Beckie a coin from his timeline, proving that, somewhere at least, the United States had succeeded.

Justin, his mother and Randolph Brooks then traveled to another alternate where humans had never evolved. They remained under quarantine for some weeks before finally returning home.

Literary comment[]

A number of characters in this novel have names recalling OTL US Presidents, in this case James Monroe.